When to Say “I Love You”

love you

Love is one of the most complex human emotions. It involves intimate relationships, passion, closeness, protectiveness, affection, and trust. It can be experienced in a variety of ways and may have religious or spiritual meaning, as well. Many people would agree that it’s the most important human emotion, but a lot of us have trouble defining it in terms of what we experience and how it works.

If you’re in a relationship, chances are you’ve had days or weeks where you weren’t all mushy-gushy in love with your partner. And there will probably be more of those days or weeks in your future. But that doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed, or that you should break up over it. In fact, it might be a good idea to listen to your gut and not jump in too fast to say those three words that could easily lead to some serious heartbreak.

According to psychosexual therapist and author Jenn Mann, there’s no set time frame for when you should say “I love you” in your relationship. But she does advise that you gauge your partner’s emotional temperature to see if the flame ever dips to a cold, unlit ember. “This will be a clear indicator of whether or not you’re ready to go all in,” she says.

It also helps to be realistic about your expectations of your partner and what you think a loving relationship looks like. For example, a loving relationship doesn’t mean you want to live together forever, but it does entail making a long-term commitment to be there for each other. It means accepting them as they are—including their flaws and messy moments. It also means being willing to invest your time and energy in them, and putting in some serious work.

There are also times when saying those magical three words may feel rushed and artificial. You might say them because you’re in a hurry to get to the next stage of your relationship, or because you think it’s what you’re supposed to do as part of being a modern couple. Or you might say them because you’re afraid of being alone. Or because you’re worried about what your family and friends will think of your decision.

You might say them at the end of a beautiful dinner at their favorite restaurant, or while you’re snuggling up on the couch with them after an afternoon of movies and popcorn. But it’s also possible you might say them while catching up on FaceTime or texting, or even after returning their favorite book with hearts drawn in the margins. It’s a lot easier to say it in the digital world than in real life, but it’s still important to make sure your partner knows how you feel about them and that they know you love them back.

If you do end up telling them how you feel, don’t panic if they don’t reciprocate. It doesn’t mean they aren’t in love with you, or that the relationship is doomed. Instead, focus on being curious: “Whatever their response is, you have to really tune in and understand their unique expressions and personality,” Mann says. This will help you figure out if your message has been received and understood.

By adminkeren
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